Student-Advisor agreement

This document outlines expectations for the student-advisor relationship for the undertaking of a dissertation research project (bachelor’s or master’s) in Experimental Oceanography at UHH. If anything herein conflicts with the University, Faculty or Academic programme requirements or guidelines, or those of the relevant courses, then those guidelines supersede what is written here. The agreement is open for discussion or revision by mutual agreement at any time during the project work.

Expectations of the Student: The most important expectation to communicate is that you, the Student, should take ownership over your educational and research experience. From the choice of your Advisor, research project and through to degree completion, you carry the primary responsibility for your success.

Expectations of the Advisor: The Advisor’s primary task is to facilitate the Student’s research and educational experience, to guide the Student in their research project and foster independent learning. The Advisor should promote conditions conducive to the Student’s research and intellectual growth, providing guidance on the progress of the research and the standards expected.

Student’s responsibility

It is the student’s responsibility to

  1. Grow intellectually, developing skills and learning approaches necessary for the project; complete research work and produce a dissertation that is their own work, reflecting a capacity for independent scholarship in the discipline;

  2. Learn about all applicable deadline dates and regulations associated with the degree requirement, and inform the Advisor of deadlines and requirements well in advance; Conform to requirements and academic standards of the degree program, including those pertaining to dissertation style, intellectual property, academic misconduct, and any relevant safety and/or workplace regulations;

  3. Manage their own time, recognising that research often takes longer than expected; and recognise that the Advisor has other research, educational and service obligations;

  4. Meet regularly with the Advisor (or designate) and arrive prepared for all scheduled meetings; changes to scheduled meetings should be requested with 24 hours notice, when possible;

  5. Take advantage of analysis, coding and research input from fellow group members, where applicable; Consider and respond to advice or feedback provide by the Advisor in a timely manner;

  6. Be prepared to approach the Advisor and/or course coordinator when any perceived problems or changes in circumstances could affect progress;

  7. By the end of the project (or continuously, via e.g., GitHub), make available to the Advisor all original research materials (data files, dissertation files, figures and analysis scripts) where appropriate;

Advisor’s responsibility

It is the advisor’s responsibility to

  1. Facilitate the Student’s intellectual growth and contribution to a field of knowledge; assist the Student in developing their research interests and help them modify the program when unforeseen problems arise;

  2. Ensure that the Student’s dissertation project is suitably aligned with the educational programme objectives and manageable in the time allocated;

  3. Give ample notice of extended absences from campus, and make arrangements for the advising of the student when on extended absence from the campus;

  4. Be reasonably accessible to the Student via electronic communication or in person for consultation and discussion of the student’s academic progress and research problems; provide 24 hours notice, when possible, when cancelling an appointment;

  5. Be open, honest and fair with the Student when providing feedback on academic performance; examine and make constructive suggestions for improvement on formal written work;

  6. Make reasonable arrangements, within the norms appropriate to the discipline and limits of resources of the University, so that the research resources necessary for execution of the student’s dissertation are available;

Publishing work

In some cases, a student thesis may be suitable for publication as a whole or as a contribution to another piece of work. In these cases, the Advisor will facilitate appropriate crediting of the Student’s contributions to scholarly activity.

For example,

  • A. Where the Student’s intellectual contribution to the work is small but essential, e.g. in the case of routine work without an active role in experimental design, execution, or data analysis, the Student will be acknowledged in the publication but not a co-author.

  • B. Where the Student has made a substantive intellectual contribution to the work, but has not taken the lead role in design, execution and anaysis, the Student will be a co-author.

  • C. Where the Student has had a major intellectual contribution to the work, and has led the design, execution and data analysis, the Student will be the lead author.

  • D. Note that no manuscript, abstract or poster should be submitted for consideration by a scholarly journal or meeting unless its content has been approved by all co-authors.

If the work is publishable, but the student has not prepared and submitted it for publication within 1 year since the student has left the group (or 2 years by prior agreement), then the work may be taken forward by others. Previous work on the project will be acknowledged by (i) co-authorship or (ii) in the ‘acknowledgements’ section of the paper. Note that co-authorship would further require timely responses by the student to contact from authors/publishers (see point D above).

EO group (2024)

Specific guidelines for BSc and MSc students in the EO group (updated 2024). See also the Meetings and Scheduling document.

  1. Shared OwnCloud folder. All UHH students should have access to OwnCloud. At the start of your dissertation work, we will create a folder (named, e.g. FirstnameLastname_MSc or FirstnameLastname_BSc) for progress reports and updates.

  2. Regular meetings: For BSc and MSc students actively working on their dissertations, I suggest 30-minute meetings up to every-other week. Please arrive prepared, including starting the meeting with a short list of items to be discussed.

    • Bi-weekly (every other week) for 30 min, to be scheduled on a term basis. During periods where the student anticipates limited progress, meetings should be cancelled.
    • Weekly group meetings, to be scheduled on a term basis.
  3. Regular report of progress: Within 1 day after an individual meeting, please digitally share a short progress report to the OwnCloud folder. This can be the slides that you use during the meeting as well as notes from the meeting on next steps. The compilation of these reports provide a record of progress through time. Name your file something sensible that promotes organisation, e.g.: YYYYMMDD-Lastname-dissupdate.pdf. Suggested headings are:

    • Agenda for meeting
    • Scientific content (e.g., action items from last meeting, aim of work since last meeting, progress since last meeting).
    • Next steps, including any action items carried forward
    • Notes from meeting
  4. Feedback on written work: I expect to review each piece of formal written work for your degree program only once, and normally to be able to provide feedback within two weeks. This refers to drafts in full format (not an introduction section one week and a methods section another week). I strongly recommend that we discuss an outline of planned writing prior to full format writing; outlines may be discussed multiple times.

  5. Scheduling: See Meetings & Scheduling for how to schedule a meeting.

    For a first meeting, please use and pick the 30-minute meeting. Subsequent meetings can be scheduled in the same way, or during a meeting we can pick future meetings or set up regular meetings.

    Alternatively, you can email Francisca Terrassa for a meeting (Please use this method for any meetings requiring participation of multiple people and where scheduling may require iterations);

    Less reliable ways of scheduling meetings with me include e-mailing, messaging in Mattermost or catching me in the hallway. Note that I organise my meetings using the University outlook calendar, and meetings that do not appear in my calendar are liable to be forgotten.

    Once a meeting is agreed, I strongly prefer that you use a digital calendar program (e.g., Outlook or google calendar) where the meeting event can be created, and I can be invited by adding my e-mail address This will help me avoid double-booking. See Meetings & Scheduling: Calendar invites for how to do this.